Mar 6, 2009

Your Most Important Family Ministry!

“…they made me keeper of the vineyards; But mine own vineyard have I not kept.”
Song of Solomon 1:6

A young bride is given the responsibility of taking care of the vineyards. She becomes so busy taking care of other people’s vineyards, that she neglects her own vineyard.

While she busily weeds other people’s vineyards…the weeds take over her own vineyard. While she waters other vineyards…her own vineyard grows drier and more parched with each passing day. While she sees fruit coming forth from the vineyards she is investing her time in…there is little fruit being produced in her own vineyard.

This is a great reminder for all of us who are ministering to families. The most important family we minister to is our own family! We’ve all seen or heard of people who were so busy ministering to other families that they neglected their own family…and paid the price.

I grew up in a pastor’s home. I’ve been around ministry all my life. Over the years, here are some important tips I’ve picked up to help keep YOUR family as your top ministry priority. Some of these I’ve learned through mistakes I or others have made. Some are things I’ve seen produce fruit in the family.

Spiritually invest in your family. Are you so busy preparing devotions for everyone else’s families that you’re not taking the time to do devotions with your own family? Are you so busy praying for the children in your ministry that you’re not taking time to pray for your own children?

Don’t turn your family into church mice. Just because you are at the church for every event or service, doesn’t mean your family has to be.

Have a day each week where you disengage from ministry. Don’t check church related emails…don’t answer calls unless it’s an emergency. Don’t stop by the church to “check” on things.

Take family vacations. Spend time together…just your family.

Learn to say “no.” Jesus didn’t heal everyone. Cut back on the “yes’s” if it’s cutting into your time together as a family.

Be home a minimum of three weeknights each week.

Go to your children’s activities.
If you have to choose between a ministry event and attending your son’s baseball game…choose the game!

Save some for home. Family Ministry can be draining. So draining that you can come home with nothing left to give to your most important family ministry. If that’s the case…then rearrange, change, or even drop some things. Come home ready to pour into your family.

Matthew 16:26 is a wakeup call for all of us.
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”

Each time I read it, I am reminded….
“And what do you benefit if you reach all the families in the whole world…but lose your own family? Is anything worth more than your own family?

Let’s keep our priorities in order when it comes to Family Ministry!

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